Subject Names: Thomas Vuono, Yuma Vuono, Azha Vuono
Subject Location: Yuba City, California
Paranormal Experience: Haunted garage
Thomas, Yuma, and their daughter Azha moved from New York City to Yuba City to escape the people and pollution. Their only concern about their new house was its proximity to the country highway, which didn't really have a speed limit. The house was near good schools and in a nice area, so the tradeoff was worth it.
Bo, the three year-old family dog, hardly ever barked. However, Bo kept barking at the corner of the yard where the garage sat. It was a warning bark as though someone were approaching, but there was nobody there. Thomas tried to ignore the barking, but Bo wouldn't stop. It made Thomas uncomfortable, in a creepy way. The barking tried both Thomas' and Yuma's patience. Bo suddenly and inexplicably stopped barking. Thomas went out to search, finding the yard's fence secured as expected, but the dog was nowhere to be seen. A dog who usually came charging when called had just disappeared. Thomas found Bo lying dead by the front yard, apparently hit by a car. Thomas had not heard any screech of tires, but something had obviously happened. Yuma and Azha were heartbroken.
Yuma was also frightened. The dog could not have escaped from the fenced pen unless he'd been let out by someone. The very next afternoon, Yuma saw Azha having a full conversation with something she couldn't see, something named Nick. Azha hadn't played with an imaginary friend before.
Thomas asked her who Nick was, and Azha began drawing. She drew a mutilated body.
One day, while Thomas was doing his morning workout in the garage, Azha peeked in. He asked if she wanted to park on a stool while he exercised, and she shyly shook her head no. Her eyes were the size of saucers. Thomas asked what was wrong. Azha said there was a 'bad skeleton' in the garage, pointing to one corner. She said the 'bad skeleton' didn't like them and was trying to hurt them. She wouldn't go inside, because the thing felt stronger than her father.
Late one night, Thomas was up reading while the other slept. He thought he had the house to himself. Then the creepiest sensation came over him, feeling as though a spiderweb came across his neck. Touching the back of his neck, he found nothing. As he started to relax again, he felt a hand going across his head. The hair on the back of his neck was standing on end. Every instinct told him something bad was about to happen.
Azha woke screaming, she was afraid for her life because of the 'bad skeleton'. No matter how much she tried, her parents would not believe her. Azha cried every night, eventually sleeping with her parents. They hoped their daughter would eventually adjust to the new house, and this was just the adjustment, but it just got worse. One morning, Yuma woke with dirt on her feet that she could not explain. Thomas was confused. He didn't want to go to sleep for fear of what might happen. Late one night, Thomas was convinced something was in the room. Grabbing a bat, he began checking the house. As he's moving, he hears the latch to the front door click open. When he turns the corner, he sees Yuma standing there. Her eyes were open, but Yuma didn't say anything. She simply tried to open the door. Yuma could not remember how she got there, feeling as though she were in a trance.
One night, it all came to a head. Yuma was sleeping, and heard a voice telling her to come to the water. Across the highway from the house was a treacherous river that she felt compelled to throw herself into. It was a very intense feeling, and Yuma had no control. It was as though something had put her under a spell. She wasn't afraid, it felt safe.
Thomas woke with a shock. Yuma wasn't in the bed. He ran outside, down the highway, and found his wife standing in the middle of the road. The sound of a big rig's horn had apparently awakened him. Something had saved her from being hit by the truck.
After that night, Azha walked into the garage for the first time, claiming Nick was there to protect them from the 'bad skeleton'. Azha called Nick the 'good skeleton'. Azha felt that Nick was protecting her, that she could go anywhere. She thought the 'good skeleton' had run the 'bad skeleton' off. Everything grew more calm and back to normal.
One day, Thomas and Yuma's neighbors told them of a neighbor they had years and years before. His name had been Nicholas, and he had been a motorcycle enthusiast. Nick had lived in their house. As he'd been coming home one day, Nick had rear-ended a tractor-trailer at the very spot where the dog had been hit by a car and where Yuma had been almost run down while sleepwalking. Nick had died instantly. Yuma was concerned about there being a spirit haunting her daughter. Yuma asked her Vietnamese mother to help with a ceremony to help Nick move on. Yuma hated the idea of Azha losing a friend, but they had to help Nick. The ceremony had worked.
Azha recovered from losing Nick, and eventually didn't even see or feel his presence anymore.